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Fire District 3 seeks volunteer ‘victims’

A scene from a previous drill staged by Fire District 3. - Island County Fire District 3 photo
A scene from a previous drill staged by Fire District 3.
— image credit: Island County Fire District 3 photo

Burning to be an actor? Here’s your chance.

Island County Fire District 3 is looking for volunteers to participate as “victims” in a disaster drill next week to help sharpen the skills of members of all segments of the department.

“Fortunately, we rarely ever see a large-scale event,” Fire Chief Rusty Palmer said Monday. “It’s important that we practice, and have a solid plan in place, so we’ll be ready.”

He said the department’s annual Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) event will be on Tuesday evening, June 7 at an undisclosed time and location. Details about what kind of incident will be simulated also are being kept secret, to more accurately test the response, Palmer said.

Past MCI drills have simulated injuries caused by multiple-vehicle accidents, fires, explosions, boat emergencies and natural disasters such as earthquakes.

Palmer said the event is being staged to test the skills of all members of the department — emergency medical response, fire fighting and marine rescue.

He said the department could use as many as 40 volunteer victims; more than 20 have signed up so far. He said several members of other island emergency departments also will participate in the drill, both as players and as evaluators.

Veteran department emergency medical services member Christina Parker, in charge of signing up volunteers, said the more “patients” the better, to give responders a good workout.

“These drills are critical,” she said. “The patients have the easy part —- just show up.”

She said no experience is necessary to be a “victim,” and that volunteers will receive a simple script to act out their characters’ injuries and symptoms.

“Hopefully, they’ll find it an enjoyable educational experience,” Parker said.

Palmer said the exercise will be as broad as district officials can make it.

“We hope to challenge the entire organization, so that all members can practice and participate,” he said.

For more information, or to volunteer as a “victim,” e-mail Parker at christina@cbwhidbey.com or call the fire station at 321-1533.

Volunteers must be ready for their close-ups at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Freeland Station, 5535 Cameron Road.

 

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